Posted: August 9th, 2012 by Militant Libertarian
There was a recent case where a mom, who was an armed government employee, came home to discover her 19 year old daughter and a male visitor enjoying themselves in a naked fashion.
The mom became violent, striking the man and then holding him at gun point (and handcuffed naked) until she discovered, through a phone call, that she couldn’t have him charged with anything because he was an invited guest. She was then arrested, but the charges were dismissed.
I was sent this story in an email from someone who thought it was funny and liked the outcome.
I did neither.
I responded thusly:
While the mom’s emotional over-reaction was somewhat understandable from a parental point of view, I hope the guy sues her. And wins. An invited guest in the home doesn’t deserve to be held at gun point even if doing something, with consent, that you don’t like. He wasn’t harming her, trespassing, or damaging her property in any way. She was wrong.
Which got a reply from him in which he disagreed:
First – Invited or not you don’t [have sex with] my daughter in my home without my permission. Second – She held him at gun point till she found out the facts and then she let him go. He did sue her and this was the court decision upholding the dismissal of the district court. For a change the court was right!!
This bothers me for a few different reasons.
It assumes ownership of the daughter. It asserts that it is not also herhouse. It claims the right to demand permission from someone not involved in the activity, and who isn’t harmed by it. It seems to say that holding an innocent person at gun point (after punching him) is OK as long as you then let him go- no liability here for initiating force. I think the court was clearly wrong.
Added- He later responded, and said this in regards to the daughter’s property rights:
Until the daughter is granted or gifted that right or a portion of that right of ownership, she has no ownership interests.
Hmmm. OK. I don’t think rights
can be granted (or
withdrawn), but only respected or violated. I respect my (nearly) 5 year-old daughter’s property rights- especially when she asserts them. Those rights don’t come from me
. Sometimes she doesn’t use those property rights in a way I would choose for her to use them. That’s life. Sometimes I assert my property rights in ways that irritate her (and others). It’s not something I have to ponder. I would hate to have someone who is a part of my family, living with me, but whom I declare has no property rights to the house, or at least to their portion of it. Now, she can’t burn her room without damaging everyone else’s property, or without endangering my life, but the same boundaries apply to me and my decision about burning my room. As long as we live under the same roof, the best way I can see to get along is to respect each other’s boundaries and property rights. That mom did not.